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Republicans block meningitis, chickenpox vaccine mandates

Wisconsin DHS announced mandates for students last month

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The sun shines on the Wisconsin State Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Wisconsin Republicans have blocked Gov. Tony Evers’ plan to mandate students get vaccinated against meningitis and obtain a doctor’s note to avoid a chickenpox shot.

Officials with the state health department, an Evers Cabinet agency, announced last month that beginning this fall students entering seventh grade must get a meningitis shot and 12th graders get a booster shot.

The agency also announced that parents will need to provide evidence of infection from a health care provider to secure an exemption from a chickenpox shot.

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Republicans say the requirements are too burdensome. The Legislature’s GOP-controlled rules committee voted 6-4 on Thursday to block the changes.

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